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An Interview with President Smith

by Voshon Kendrick

Sharon P. Smith, current President of The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2019.

Come June 2019, President Smith will have served twelve years at Pitt-Greensburg. In her time as acting president of Pitt-Greensburg, President Smith sparked change and development all around campus.

Changes including the campus’ steps towards a more sustainable future, in the case of Frank A. Cassell Hall, which received a LEED Gold designation. President Smith also played a role in the development of the Center for Applied Research.

Smith stated that it pushes students into “real projects for the community, so they have an opportunity to put knowledge in action with experiential learning.”

She also helped in developing the Center for the Digital Text, which gets students working in their area of study on and off campus.

Changes like these were possible thanks to her diverse and unique experience in the workforce industry. Most immediately she worked on National University’s campus in La Jolla, California as their Provost. However, prior to that, President Smith was Dean of the School of Business at Fordham University, and also worked in government and business.

President Smith had this to say when asked why she decided to retire after this year. “It was the right time for the school and the right time for me, I feel Pitt-Greensburg is in a really good place, with the right mix of majors and opportunities available for [the students].”

President Smith, during a moment of reflection, stated some of her favorite moments in her time at Pitt-Greensburg would have to be all the convocations she was apart of.

“What I really love is freshman convocation, because its beginnings. It’s what Pitt-Greensburg is all about, that pledge to the Pitt Promise, I think that is so special.”

Most of all President Smith stated “I’ll miss the people. It’s a really warm special community that I love.”

While President Smith could not disclose any information about the search committee for her successor and who is on it, she did divulge that the search for the new president has not begun as of yet. This is mainly because the new Provost, Ann E. Cudd, will be in charge of forming the committee.   

Smith could however explain how the search process worked back when she was selected to be the new president of Pitt-Greensburg.

“The vice provost worked with a search firm, and there were adds posted.”  

From there candidates were either “nominated” or “inquired” of by members of the search committee and there were some candidates that had applied for the position.

After being asked what she plans to do when she has retired she answered, “Well right now I’m focused on the things I want to get done by the end of June.”

President Smith has most assuredly earned her retirement, but right now her work is never done.

“This is such an extraordinary place, most of all because of the students, and the faculty, and the staff. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be here and watch Pitt-Greensburg bloom,” said President Smith.

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